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Hardcover Our War Book

ISBN: 0812925769

ISBN13: 9780812925760

Our War

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Format: Hardcover

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Book Overview

David Harris was the most famous draft resister of the Vietnam War. A former student body president of Stanford University, he refused to accept induction and be sent to Vietnam. He spent nearly two... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

3 ratings

More important now than when it was written --

This is a great book, an important book, a powerful book more important now than ever. David Harris speaks truth and uses words the way a surgeon or an artist uses their tools. Acknowledging that, as a country, "we get what we do" goes a long way toward answering the question, "Why do they hate us?" long before 9-11 ever became the symbol for "What's wrong with this picture?" "When a nation acts, all its citizens are joined insolubly in responsibility for the consequence of their national behavior." Truer words were never spoken. "While it may be an accurate conclusion, calling the war a mistake is the functional equivalent of calling water wet or dirt dirty. ... In this particular "mistake," at least 3 million people died, only 58,000 of whom were Americans. These 3 million people died crushed in the mud, riddled with shrapnel, hurled out of helicopters, impaled on sharpened bamboo, obliterated in carpets of explosives dropped from bombers flying so high they could only be heard and never seen (talk about cowards!) they died reduced to chunks by one or more land mines, finished off by a round through the temple or a bayonet in the throat, consumed by sizzling phorphorous, burned alive with jellied gasoline, strung up by their thumbs, starved in cages, executed after watching their babies die, trapped on the barbed wire calling for their mothers. They died while trying to kill, they died while trying to kill no one, they died heroes, they died villains, they died at random, they died most often when someone who had no idea who they were killed them under the orders of someone who had even less idea than that. ... All 3 million died in pain, often so intense that death was a relief. This war was about us. We made it happen. It was ours. And, even at this late date, any genuine reckoning on our part must include assuming the full responsibility of that ownership. Nothing less will do." So read David Harris's indictment of the Vietnam War. The more things change, the more they remain the same. This book should have received a Nobel Peace Price. It is a work of art, a labor of love. Now, more than ever, it is important to read, and understand, what this author was trying to say.

Harris is right

The "Vietnam Syndrome" is not buried forever, contrary to former President Bush's pronouncement after the Persian Gulf War. My heart goes out to the "loserama" reviewer of this book. Victory? For whom? The Vietnamese we were supposedly helping? No one ever wins a war. The only way to avoid condemning "millions to death, imprisonment and misery" in the future is to face ourselves. It is the American Dream that causes our wars. We have gotten the government we deserve; one that protects our vulgarly excessive way of life with brute force and cruelty. And most of us like things that way. We veterans are both victims of the empire and recipients of its ill-gotten bounty. We have to lead the reckoning.

A Good Book On A Difficult Subject

Twenty-five years after it ended and the Vietnam War still brings-up intense feelings from people who lived through that period. Harris stood up for his beliefs and he paid the price for not going along with the government line. I had the opportunity to meet him shortly after he was released from prison and found him to be sincere and steadfast in his support for non-violent resistance to an unnecessary war. I thought that Harris did an excellent job of explaining the moral underpinnings of the anti-war movement and how his stand against the war evolved. This is required reading for anyone seeking clarity about those times, whether they fought in Vietnam or protested at home, or weren't even born yet. Anyone who still blames the anti-war movement for the outcome of the Vietnam War needs to read the Pentagon Papers and the numerous books detailing the prolonging of the war for political purposes by LBJ, Nixon, Kissinger and McNamara. A lot of people died because the United States government was unwilling to admit mistakes had been made and we should never have been over there in the first place. I had friends who went to Nam and never returned. I knew others who volunteered, survived their tour of duty and came back convinced of the injustice of the war. And I had friends who stood up, refused to serve and went to prison. All of us who survived would benefit from reading Harris' thoughtful accounting of those dreadful times.
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